By Lynne Newey
End Quarry Road, Dural via Fishponds to Hornsby Railway Station and return. Moderate to a little hard – rating 3 or 4 out of 5. Just under 2 hours, 9.5 kms.
Park at the end of Quarry Road Dural and start at the fire trail where the sign shows Berowra Valley National Park and Fishponds Waterhole via Pogsons Trail, 2.1 km.
I started on a cool, overcast morning. I’ve done this walk before, and its always a pleasure and fabulous exercise. The bush gloriously surrounds and welcomes you. The start of the trail is wide and wellgraded, and the signage is easy to follow. At around 1 km, it narrows to a single file track – all downhill where you have to negotiate rocks and tree roots, but there are steps and some handrails here and there to help with your descent to Berowra Creek. Halfway down, you come to a very large rock platform. Here is a very good stopping point to take in the view and listen to the surrounds. There were plenty of cockatoos and whip-birds keeping me company this morning. I also spotted two Lyrebirds building a nest.
Down at Fishponds, you will find stepping blocks to cross the creek. There are a couple of waterholes here either side of the crossing, quite pretty and very peaceful with a sandy bank if you want to sit for a while. At this point, you may decide that this much walk is enough for you and turn back from here. I wanted a little more exercise, so I continued on the track following Hornsby Station’s signs. Again it’s a narrow track for about 500 meters., climbing rocks and winding around huge gum trees. I rounded one particular red-gum with a massive trunk on a rock with its roots spilling over like a waterfall – so amazing how they grow, it seems, out of a rock. Keep an eye out for the metal pick head and splitter!
Up-hill I continued until the trail widened again and plateaued into an area that looks like a rainforest with tree ferns, bracken and a tall tree canopy. Then I walked out into an open area where residential houses appear and a quaint little park – Hornsby Park at Rosemead Bush Reserve. I walked through the park to start the climb up Hornsby Heritage Steps and another 1.2 km. to Hornsby Railway Station. The steps hold so much history, and there are metal plaques in the shape of books with stories on them, secured to rocks at intervals along one side. Oh boy! There are a lot of steps!! Finally, at the top, my heart pumping, breathing heavy – YAY! I did it!! On I pushed coming out onto the road and another 300mtrs. to the station.
I treated myself to a quick coffee and a sit in the park opposite the Police Station then all rested, off I went the same way I came. Back at my car in 40 minutes and again happily ticking off another “Leg” in our beautiful local bush.